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MRK 3534 Understanding Cultures and Markets

MRK 3534 Understanding Cultures and Markets

Course code: 
MRK 3534
Department: 
Communication and Culture
Credits: 
7.5
Course coordinator: 
Steffen Johannessen
Gillian Warner-Søderholm
Product category: 
Bachelor
Portfolio: 
Bachelor of International Marketing - Programme Courses
Semester: 
2018 Autumn
Active status: 
Active
Teaching language: 
English
Course type: 
One semester
Introduction

Cultural and ethnic diversity have become part of people’s everyday experience in most parts of the world. While transnational communication is increasing, physical distance also becomes less important in many spheres of life. A constantly changing global business world, increasingly affected by distant markets and emerging economies such as China, brings about new social, cultural, economic and political challenges. This demands a heightened sense of self-reflection and critical understanding of key anthropological issues including culture, social relations, and identity-formation.

The course offers important anthropological and sociological perspectives, as well as practical training, for understanding and analyzing culture, identity and social relationships. The course focuses on how social practices including economic exchange, media images, consumption and shopping contribute to form, confirm and re-shape identity, cultural meaning and social relations in a globalizing world marked by cultural diversity. Through anthropological theory and practice, including fieldwork and participant observation, students will gain insights into how cultural ideas, values and practices affect how people interact, communicate and relate to one another, as well as what roles products may play in human relations. Students will also acquire deepened understanding of how people identify and understand themselves and others in different societies, many of which are increasingly influenced by marketing and consumption. This is important since success as well as ethical behavior depend on marketers' skills and abilities to understand their target groups' cultural values, ideas and practices.

Geographically, the course has an empirical focus on studies of culture in China and Scandinavia, but includes cases and examples from many other parts of the world.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge
  • Be familiar with anthropological understandings of culture
  • Be familiar with an anthropological understanding of identity, identification, and identity politics in a globalizing world.
  • Be familiar with anthropological theories of integration and economic exchange
  • Understand how people are affected by their cultural backgrounds, and how people's cultural background also influences their understanding of other local and distant groups
  • Understand how media images can shape and affect culture, identity and social relations
  • Be familiar with different approaches to understanding people from other cultures, such as cultural relativism and ethnocentrism.
  • Understand qualitative anthropological research methods, and develop practical skills and understanding of how cultural meanings and practices can be studied by means of fieldwork and participant observation.
  • Be familiar with central social and cultural differences between Scandinavia and China, and thereby develop a comparative perspective for understanding other cultures and markets.
Learning outcomes - Skills
  • Be able to explain central concepts and theories within anthropology and sociology, and understand how to apply these concepts and theories for understanding, discussing and analyzing cultures, sub-cultures, identity formation and different forms of social interaction within a contemporary world
  • Be able to use qualitative interview- and observation techniques to gain data and knowledge about other people's cultural perspectives, practices and understandings
  • Improve teamwork skills through practical group assignment
  • Be able to plan, develop and undertake qualitative studies of particular empirical fields
  • Improve communication skills through project presentations
Learning Outcome - Reflection
  • Develop increased awareness and sensitivity in respect to ethical issues that concern inter-cultural encounters.
  • Enhance creative thinking by developing sensitivity to alternative thoughts and perspectives
  • Acquire modesty, understanding and respect in the approach of other groups’ cultural ideas and practices.
Course content
  • The concept of culture in social anthropology
  • Ethnicity, nationalism and imagined cultural difference
  • Ethnocentrism, cultural relativism and ethics
  • Identity and identification in shifting social contexts
  • Qualitative research methods, fieldwork and participant observation
  • Exchange, reciprocity and social integration
  • Globalization, the glocal, branding and identity-politics
  • Media, advertising and visual culture, and the role of this in a booming tourist industry
  • Shopping, social relations and meaning making in an expanding consumer culture 
  • Culture and social relations in Scandinavia and China
Learning process and requirements to students

The course is comprised of a combination of lectures and a practical group assignment. Throughout the semester, course-related material, updates and notifications will be posted on ItsLearning. Students are expected to follow the online site on a weekly basis. 

During the entire semester, students will work on a term paper. The term paper is based on qualitative methods that include observation and interviews, and in this process, students shall conduct a short anthropological fieldwork. The term paper is to be completed in groups up to 3 to 5 students. Students must develop their own project and are to hand in a project proposal early in the semester. Students must also be prepared to present parts of their term paper to the lecturer and a group of other students later in the semester. The term paper will be given at the beginning of the semester. Feedback and supervision will be offered two times during the semester. First, after handing in a project proposal, each group must be prepared to discuss topic, content and approach with their lecturer. Second, each group must be prepared to present their working project to the lecturer and other students before submission. Feedback will then be offered in the form of discussion. It is expected that all group members take part and contribute in the project.

Students are also expected to discuss the various course topics in discussion groups. The discussion groups may be the same as the term paper groups, or they may vary.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Additional information

.

Qualifications

Higher Education Entrance Qualification.

Required prerequisite knowledge

No particular prerequisites.

Mandatory courseworkCourseworks givenCourseworks requiredComment coursework
Voluntary For feedback on the project proposal, students are responsible for submitting a project proposal and to meet the agreed supervision time.
Voluntary To receive feedback, students are expected to present findings from their working termpaper project at agreed time in the second half of the semester.
Mandatory coursework:
Mandatory coursework:Voluntary
Courseworks given:
Courseworks required:
Comment coursework:For feedback on the project proposal, students are responsible for submitting a project proposal and to meet the agreed supervision time.
Mandatory coursework:Voluntary
Courseworks given:
Courseworks required:
Comment coursework:To receive feedback, students are expected to present findings from their working termpaper project at agreed time in the second half of the semester.
Exam categoryWeightInvigilationDurationSupport materialsGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
MRK 35341
Grading scale:
ECTS
Grading rules:
Internal and external examiner
Resit:
Examination every semester
40No1 Semester(s)Group (3 - 5)Term paper, 10 - 15 pages, excluding attachments.
In connection with a re-sit exam, the termpaper can be completed on an individual basis, or in groups comprised of up to 5 participants.
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
MRK 35342
Grading scale:
ECTS
Grading rules:
Internal and external examiner
Resit:
Examination every semester
60Yes4 Hour(s)
  • Bilingual dictionary
Individual Both exams must be passed in order to receive a grade for the course.
Exams:
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Weight:40
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Group (3-5)
Support materials:
Duration:1 Semester(s)
Comment:Term paper, 10 - 15 pages, excluding attachments.
In connection with a re-sit exam, the termpaper can be completed on an individual basis, or in groups comprised of up to 5 participants.
Exam code: MRK 35341
Grading scale:ECTS
Resit:Examination every semester
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Weight:60
Invigilation:Yes
Grouping (size):Individual
Support materials:
  • Bilingual dictionary
Duration:4 Hour(s)
Comment:Both exams must be passed in order to receive a grade for the course.
Exam code: MRK 35342
Grading scale:ECTS
Resit:Examination every semester
Exam organisation: 
Ordinary examination
Total weight: 
100
Workload activityDurationType of durationComment student effort
Teaching27Hour(s)
Group work / Assignments50Hour(s)Work on term paper, including fieldwork, feedback and presentation
Self study119Hour(s)Self-study, reading and (online) discussion groups
Examination4Hour(s)Individual examination
Expected student effort:
Workload activity:Teaching
Duration:27 Hour(s)
Comment:
Workload activity:Group work / Assignments
Duration:50 Hour(s)
Comment:Work on term paper, including fieldwork, feedback and presentation
Workload activity:Self study
Duration:119 Hour(s)
Comment:Self-study, reading and (online) discussion groups
Workload activity:Examination
Duration:4 Hour(s)
Comment:Individual examination
Sum workload: 
200

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 7,5 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of at least 200 hours.

Talis literature

Obligatorisk/Compulsory

Book
Authors/Editors År Tittel Edition Publisher StudentNote
Lund, Ragnhild; Lie, Merete; Bøckman, Harald; Hansen, Gard Hopsdal 2008 Making it in China Høyskoleforlaget
Eriksen, Thomas Hylland 2017 What is Anthropology?
O'Reilly, Karen 2012 Ethnographic methods 2nd ed Routledge Page 28-49, 86-92, 95-112, 116-136, 141-156, 179-189, 193-204.
Chapter
Authors/Editors År Tittel Journal Edition Publisher StudentNote
Gullestad, Marianne Symbolic fences Symbolic fences Page 165-183.
Sharp, L. Steel axes for stone age Australians Steel axes for stone age Australians Page 341-349.
Jhally, S. Image based culture: advertising and popular culture Image based culture: advertising and popular culture Page 327-335.
Miller, Daniel Making love in supermarkets Making love in supermarkets Page 14-35.
Ritzer, George The globalization of consumer culture - and global opposition to it The globalization of consumer culture - and global opposition to it Page 162-191.
Eriksen, Thomas Hylland Introduction : a shrinking planet Introduction : a shrinking planet Page 1-13
Urry, John; Larsen, Jonas 2011 The tourist gaze 3.0 The tourist gaze 3.0 [3rd ed.] SAGE Side 1-30, 49-60
Eriksen, Thomas Hylland Identity politics Identity politics Page 151-171
Bruckermann, Charlotte; Feuchtwang, Stephan The exchange of money, gifts, and favours The exchange of money, gifts, and favours Chapter 6, p. 119-142
Bendixsen, Synnøve; Bringslid, Mary Bente; Vike, Halvard Introduction: Egalitarianism in a Scandinavian Context Introduction: Egalitarianism in a Scandinavian Context
Article
Authors/Editors År Tittel Edition Publisher StudentNote
Brøgger, Benedicte; Helene Jevnaker, Birgit 2014-07-08 The cultural production of commodities Page 124-138
Chapter
Authors/Editors År Tittel Journal Edition Publisher StudentNote
Barker, Chris Ethnicity, race and nation Ethnicity, race and nation Page 252-288.
Article
Authors/Editors År Tittel Edition Publisher StudentNote
Gullestad, Marianne 2002-03 Invisible Fences: Egalitarianism, Nationalism and Racism